Losing heat from fireplace.


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Old 12-03-13, 10:00 PM
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Losing heat from fireplace.

I have a wood fireplace (gas lit) but I'm obviously losing 90% of the heat out the chimney. Is there a simple cost-efficient way to regain most of the heat? I've seen some inserts but they cost around $2000. I don't own this home because I'm only here for a few years and I don't want to spend that much for a few short winters... Thanks!!!!
 
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Old 12-04-13, 03:48 AM
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Welcome to the forums! Fireplaces in and of themselves are antiquated in design. Hey, they were great back in Medieval times, and on up in the wild west days, but, gee we live in the 21st century and efficiency in that area has moved, it seems the slowest. I don't know of anything that will help an open fireplace to become efficient. The insert you suggest would be one way to do it, but expensive as you state. Fireplace doors help keep good warm air in the room from being sucked up the chimney, but you will still lose the greater majority of your fire heat up the tube.

Wish I had a better answer. Hang in here, more advice will surely be forthcoming once everyone gets rolling
 
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Old 12-04-13, 04:32 AM
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There are fireplace blower grates you can try. It would help you extract more heat from the fire. Still, there is nothing efficient about a wood fire. Since you have gas to the fireplace it may be better to seal off the flue and install vent free gas logs.
 
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Old 12-04-13, 07:33 AM
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Thx for the info. The grate blowers sound similar to the inserts that I was looking at, unless you know otherwise?

I understand that wood fireplaces aren't very efficient, but would like a way to better heat the main living area without changing the setting on the thermostat for the whole large(ish) home.
 
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Old 12-04-13, 08:01 AM
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If your fireplace is gas, you have the advantage that you can close the damper as soon as you turn it off. Burning wood requires the damper to remain open until the last ember is extinguished, which can be more than 24 hours. I personally would not recommend the vent free fireplace option.

A blower grate is completely different from a sealed combustion insert. The inserts are the expensive ones. With your more reasonable electric rates, you might find one of those electric heaters will serve your purpose, the ones in a nice wood cabinet. Their advantage is they only heat the room they are in, which allows you to lower the heat to the rest of the house. For your limited winter needs, it may be a reasonable choice. Plus, you take it with you when you leave.

Bud
 
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Old 12-04-13, 04:05 PM
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So basically my options are:

A) Get a blower and keep burning wood
B) Use the gas and fake logs and close the damper/flue
C) Get a space heater (I have two but they aren't that powerful..I've been using them in conjunction with the fire and have to have them right next to me).

Let me know if I misunderstood anything, otherwise, thanks!!!!
 
 

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